Just a sling and a stone

Just a sling and a stone
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

She looked at me in disbelief. “He hates God?” 

I have been reading snippets of a Bible story book to one of my kids, Hannah, and today we had a few minutes before dinner prep needed attention. Ater I stepped away, she continued to sit on the kitchen floor, dumbfounded that Goliath would hate God. Or that there were bad guys at all in the world, for that matter. I hear her thinking out loud about it all the time now. “He picked up stones…he’s so big…he’s a bad guy… David winned.” She mutters this to herself as she plays other things, stunned at the story that is ages old and well-worn for us grownups, but fresh and fascinating for her. 

As I have mulled over this story and how inspiring it is in a God-might-use-me-too sort of way, it also strikes me as odd. Wouldn’t we too think it strange for a young man to tell us that we need not fear Goliath? Or to put it in our day, we need not fear policies, people, or powers that would persecute or destroy us? 

Isn’t it odd that God used David’s sling to bring down his enemies? Couldn’t God have used anything, including Saul’s sword? But God longs to use what is common and lowly to bring down what is huge and powerful. He specializes in this. 

We are normal women, lowly and average in every way, so we fit the bill for God to use. Who knows which of us have a word, an action, a simple idea that in God’s hands can be used to bring down Goliath? There’s a lot of fear these days, whispering that Goliath is too big and bad times are coming. 

It’s not that cut and dried. We need not shrink back from the battle. There are Christians to serve, children to raise, and hurting people to reach with the hope of the gospel. There is much to be done and very few doing it. 

Isn’t it odd that David was given Saul’s armor — armor that had stood the test of battle after battle — and he turned it down? David could have easily looked at his slingshot and thought, “This is pathetic. Look at everyone else’s armor. I could at least use a helmet.” At some point, he must have thought Saul’s armor was a better idea than his slingshot because he put it on. 

Do you look at your own tools that way and long for someone else’s? I do. I think I’m too scattered, too distracted, too disorganized. I barely notice the clutter in my house until someone comes over and I see it with their eyes. I am honestly far too busy ordering words in my mind to order the things around me. “I wish I could get myself together,” I tell myself almost daily. But maybe, I don’t need to — and neither do you. You just need to bring what you have. 

Perhaps there was a quiet moment for David as he looked down at armor that was ridiculously too big for him. Prompted by the Spirit in him, he thought something like, “What am I doing? Where is my slingshot?” David turned down the armor from Saul, but are you (am I) still trying to wear it? 

David brought a sling shot to a battle, not a sword. I bring a pen, not a clean house. What do you bring, sister? A listening ear? The ability to tell the truth in difficult moments? A mind for learning that can soak in God’s truth and share it? An eye for color that brings peace and joy to your home? A brush? A song? A warm embrace? A care package? A planner that brings relief and focus? Bring it. Use it in God’s power and see God slay the giant. 

I don’t know what I would do without dear friends that hold me up in prayer and encourage me with every word I write. Do you have that gift of encouragement? Who around you needs your encouragement? What do you need to bring to the battle line? Because it’s really not about you or your gifts. It’s God and His strength that brings Goliath to the ground.

To you, your gifts look like a slingshot. To God, they look like the stone that will bring down a stronghold. And to you, other’s gifts look like a sword that is far better than what you are holding. To God, they look like Saul’s armor that you can barely walk in. What do you need to leave behind for the battle? Take it off, lay it aside, and run to meet your foe.

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Maybe we can read it this way: For consider your calling, sister: not many of you are particularly gifted or brilliant by the world’s standards, not many have a lot of money or fame, not many are celebrities or influencers. But God chooses what is simple in a world obsessed with shiny and new to shame the gurus; God chooses what is weak and unimportant to shame the strong and powerful; God chooses what is boring and unpopular in this world, even things that you don’t know about, to bring to nothing the things that are. Why? So that no human being can stand up in the presence of God and say, “Look at what I did.” All the glory will be His.

Maybe this new year can be a quiet moment for you to look at what you can do, and bring it to the Lord. Lay it out before Him honestly and ask for heaven’s eyes, “What would You have me do with this gift?” And put down the rest. Let the others use their gifts. Because you and your local church are a body; you are just as needed as someone else. But, sister, no one else is you. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash